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Patriots Rookie Projections: Jeremy Ebert

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Jeremy Ebert #80 of the New England Patriots speaks during a press conference before the start of the  2012 Rookie Mini Camp at Gillette Stadium on May 11, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Jeremy Ebert #80 of the New England Patriots speaks during a press conference before the start of the 2012 Rookie Mini Camp at Gillette Stadium on May 11, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Seventh and final in a series looking at the Patriots' 2012 NFL Draft picks, and the roles they might play for the Patriots next year.

Name: Jeremy Ebert

School: Northwestern

Position: Wide Receiver

Drafted: 7th round, 235th overall

Overview: Jeremy Ebert was a very productive receiver during his four years at Northwestern, really blossoming into the team's most reliable target during his final two years with the Wildcats. At 5'11" and 200 lbs, Ebert has a solid build, with average athleticism. He has good field awareness, can play out of the slot, and will likely be able to find the soft spots in zones at the NFL level. While many are projecting him as a slot-only player, he should have the versatility to play outside, and can also contribute on special teams.

Projected Role: If Ebert has one thing going for him when it comes to his potential role with the Patriots, it's youth. Every Patriots receiver on the top of its depth chart, including Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd, and Donte Stallworth is on the wrong side of 30. Jeremy Ebert, at 23, is one of the youngest options the Patriots have at the position. As we previously outlined, Ebert was a productive college receiver who has some upside in the NFL. While he has a chance to make the final roster in 2012, it's pretty slim considering the veteran depth the Patriots have at the position. Ebert's best chance to make an impact will by learning and developing on the practice squad in 2012, and trying once again to make the roster in 2013.

Projected Stats: Spends the 2012 season on the practice squad

Bottom Line: Ebert spends the 2012 season on the practice squad, but represents much-needed youth in the Patriots receiving corps. Could be a factor at the position heading into 2013.